|Not to be confused with the 2018 remake.|
Meteor Garden (Chinese: 流星花園; pinyin: Liúxīng Huāyuán) is a Taiwanese drama based on the Japanese manga, Boys Over Flowers by Yoko Kamio. It stars Barbie Hsu as Dong Shan Cai, who is bullied by the F4, played by Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Vanness Wu, and Ken Chu. Angie Chai produced it, while Tsai Yueh Hsun directed.
The drama premiered on April 12, 2001 on CTS and was a huge success. Barbie Hsu was nominated for a Golden Bell Award for her performance. The drama was followed by a side story, Meteor Rain in 2001, and a sequel, Meteor Garden II in 2002. A Meteor Garden remake, also produced by Chai, was released in 2018.
Dong Shan Cai (Hsu) is a normal student at the elite college, Ying De Academy. The school is controlled by the F4, a group of four rich boys. Shan Cai's life changes forever when she confronts F4's leader Dao Ming Si (Yan). Things turn complicated when he develops a crush on her. She, however, has feelings for his best friend, Hua Ze Lei (Chou).
Middle-class student, Dong Shan Cai (Barbie Hsu) attends Ying De Academy, a college created by the four wealthy families of the F4. The clique consists of Dao Ming Si (Jerry Yan), Hua Ze Lei (Vic Chou), Xi Men (Ken Chu), and Mei Zuo (Vanness Wu), who rule the school and are allowed to do whatever they wish. Shan Cai avoids them until she stands up for her friend, Li Zhen (Ann Yeh), when she angers Si by accident. She is given a red slip and her classmates begin bullying her. When Shan Cai declares war on the F4, Si sends two guys to scare her though they actually try to assault her. Lei stops them. The next day, Shan Cai punches Si. He later kidnaps her and brings her to his house, where he arrogantly asks her to be his girlfriend. Shan Cai rejects him, stating that she cannot be bought.
Later, Shan Cai is bullied by Bai He (Belinda Cheng) and Qian Hui (Zhang Ruo Zhen), who pretend to be her friend. From them, she learns about Lei's love for Teng Tang Jing (Winnie Chien) who later returns from studying abroad. Meanwhile, Shan Cai's old friend Chen Qing He (Edward Ou) transfers to Ying De, making Si jealous. Lei protects Shan Cai from a mob, after Si send a red slip to Qing He. Si later offers to pay for Shan Cai to go on the class trip. She decides to go on a cruise with Qing He instead, though Si ends up buying the ship. The first night, Shan Cai enjoys the party until she accidentally kisses Si. She later eavesdrops on Lei confessing his feelings to Jing, which devastates her. Back at school, Si attacks Shan Cai after learning she likes Lei. He stops when she starts to cry.
Shan Cai attends Jing's birthday party with her best friend, Xiao You (Rainie Yang). Jing announces her plan to return to France. After seeing her off at the airport, Shan Cai yells at Lei to follow her, which he does. Si asks Shan Cai on a date, but she does not understand him at first. She arrives hours late and they argue, until they find themselves stuck in a stairwell. In the morning, someone snaps a photo of them leaving and posts it at school. Bai He and Qian Hui now act nice towards Shan Cai and take her dancing. A DJ, Thomas finds Shan Cai passed out and takes her to a hotel. Photos of them going into the hotel are posted at school and the other students bully her again. Si initially believes that she slept with Thomas, but eventually comes to his senses. He then tells her that he loves her.
Si begins to act like Shan Cai's boyfriend, before Lei comes back from France. The F4 and Shan Cai go on vacation to Okinawa. Shan Cai meets Lei that night and later lies about it to Si. The following night, Lei kisses her and Si sees them. He refuses to forgive Lei and starts to act unruly at home again. His sister, Dao Ming Zhuang (Mary Hsu) is called in to help him deal with his problems. Si attempts to expel Shan Cai and Lei, but Zhuang interferes. She suggests that they play a basketball game to decide their fates. Si's team nearly wins the match, but he gives up at the last second. That night, Shan Cai and Lei end their relationship, while Si makes up his mind to join his parents in New York. Before he boards the plane, Lei tells him that Shan Cai actually likes Si.
Back from New York, Si immediately visits Shan Cai and spends the night after her mother (Wang Yue) insists. Sometime later, Shan Cai's father (Dong Zhi Cheng) borrows one million dollars from a loan shark. Shan Cai gets the money from Si in order to pay the debt. She obtains a second part-time job to repay Si with the help of a new friend, Xiao Shun (Lin Zu En). Si quickly grows jealous of her new friend. She is later kidnapped, after a red card is placed in her locker. One of her captors is Xiao Shun, who wants to avenge his friend. Si allows himself to be beaten by these guys in order to protect Shan Cai. After being discharged from the hospital, Si invites Shan Cai to his birthday party and plans to introduce her to his mother, Dao Ming Feng (Zhen Xiu Zhen).
At Si's birthday party, Feng immediately identifies Shan Cai as lower-class and becomes angry with Si, who proclaims his feelings for her. Si then grabs Shan Cai and runs from the party. His mother later offers money to Shan Cai for her to stop seeing Si, however, her mother strongly declines. Feng's next move is to introduce Shan Cai to Si's new fiancée He Yuan Zi (Christine Ke). Shan Cai unwittingly becomes friends with Xiao Zi and decides to end things with Si. He and Xiao Zi begin dating, though she often complains about him to Shan Cai. After several days, Si confesses to her that he does feel the same way. They break off their engagement, despite his mother's protests. Meanwhile, Shan Cai's parents move to a fishing village, leaving her behind.
Feng buys Shan Cai's apartment complex and evicts her, before leaving for London. Si brings Shan Cai to his home, where she begins working as a maid. A couple nights later, Si asks her to be his girlfriend and she agrees, though on a trial basis of two months. Their relationship is tested, when they go on a double date with Xiao You and her boyfriend, Zhong Ze (Li Jie Sheng). After Si punches him, he stops contacting Xiao You. She later sees him dating a different girl. Xi Men helps her get revenge on Zhong Ze by humiliating him. Xiao You and Xi Men then orchestrate an elaborate date for Si and Shan Cai, which almost works. Later that night, Feng returns and tries to kick Shan Cai out, but relents when Ms. Yu (Angie Tang) threatens suicide.
Si's mother hurts Shan Cai by going after the livelihoods of Xiao You's and Qing He's families. Shan Cai agrees to end things with Si and Feng reverses the damage. That night, Shan Cai breaks up with a heartbroken Si, before leaving Taipei. She joins her parents in the fishing village, while Si sinks back into his old self. In the town, Shan Cai befriends her coworker Ah Song (Wallace Chung), who is waiting for his girlfriend Ah Xiang (Beatrice Hsu) to return. A few days later, Lei and Qing He arrive to bring her back home. Shan Cai goes back to school, but begins avoiding Si. He makes a "clean break" of their relationship and Lei begins to pursue her romantically. In actuality, Lei is only pretending to go after her to encourage Si to voice his true feelings.
Satisfied that Si is allowing himself to feel again, Lei leaves to help his father in Japan. Shan Cai and Xiao Zi later go on a double blind date, where they meet Si's cousin Qing Yong (Blue Lan). Si becomes suspicious of him, but Shan Cai and Qing Yong become friends. He eventually reveals that he was hired by Feng to seduce her. Despite being mad, Shan Cai stays friends with him, his real name being Ya Men. He tries to get her to forget about Si. However, Shan Cai decides to take another chance on love and returns to Si. They keep their relationship a secret at first. Around the same time, Xiao You confesses her feelings to Xi Men, who rejects her. When she persists, Xi Men takes her to a hotel to scare her. She then tells him that her family is moving to Canada.
A few days later, Shan Cai and Si go on a date. All of Si's credit cards are rejected, which makes him worry that his mother is interfering again. After Si drops her home, a group of men kidnap him. His mother locks him in his room and starts to plan a wedding for him and Xiao Zi. Lei comes back to help Xi Men and Mei Zuo rescue Si. They reach his room, but are ultimately caught by Feng. Shan Cai visits Si to convince him to eat, though she ends up joining his fast. Si's sister yells at her mother for treating Si the same way she did to her years before. That night, Feng stays up thinking and leaves in the morning. Si and Shan Cai are reunited, now without his mother's interference. Some time later, at Si's urging, she declares "I like you" and they embrace. They pass by a street musician (Harlem Yu) singing "Qing Fei De Yi".
Cast and characters
- Original work: Boys Over Flowers by Yoko Kamio
- Producers: Angie Chai, Jerry Feng, Wu Zhi Qiang
- Screenplay: Angie Chai, Jerry Feng, Sharon Mao, Gong Min Hui
- Planning: Yang Jia Yu
- Director: Tsai Yueh Hsun
- Executive producer: Li Tai Lin
- Deputy director: Xie Xiao Fen
- Production: Lu Shu Juan, Yang Yuan Ren, Lu Ying Shu, Chen Qin Win, Li En
- Cinematography: Lin Qing Fang, Lin Wen Kai
- Lighting: Wang Li Da
- Editing: Zheng Ya Yun
- Post production: Long Jia Li
- Makeup: Lisa Alen
- Stylist: Hong Mei Qi
- Main article: Meteor Garden/Episodes
There are several different cuts of Meteor Garden. This wiki currently goes by a 19 episode version (VCD), which is believed to be the closest to how the series first aired.
Meteor Garden is the first live-action television adaptation of the Japanese manga, Boys Over Flowers by Yoko Kamio. The series was produced by Angie Chai with the objective of creating a program for the Taiwanese youth. Meteor Garden was Chai's first television drama project. During production, she was told to "cut out unnecessary scenes to save on cost." However, she was able to secure funding for the scenes. Filming officially began on March 4, 2001. The school scenes were shot at National Chung Cheng University.
Barbie Hsu, who was then known for being in a music duo with her sister, was cast as the female lead. Newcomers Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Ken Chu, and Vanness Wu were discovered and hand-picked by Chai to play the F4. Chai decided to retain the Japanese names for most of the characters, though read with the Chinese pronunciation. The decision caused some controversy at the time, but later became standard. Meteor Garden was extended from July to August, due to its popularity.
- See also: Meteor Garden/International broadcast
Meteor Garden was first broadcast on CTS, a free-to-air station in Taiwan. It initially aired at 9 PM before being moved to a prime time slot. The series premiered on the station on April 12, 2001 and concluded its first run on August 16. A second run of the drama began on July 31. Meteor Garden has aired in over sixteen countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
It was edited and remastered in April 2018 for the Chinese streaming service, Tencent Video. Over 160 million people viewed it within a week. As of November 2018, Meteor Garden is available to stream on Netflix in the Philippines.
- Main article: Meteor Garden/Home media
Meteor Garden was first released on VCD in three different sets during and after its first broadcast. A limited time DVD was made available to order in late 2001. It has been released on various home media formats throughout all of Asia.
- Main article: Meteor Garden Original Soundtrack
The soundtrack was released in 2001 on CD and VCD. It featured the theme songs to Meteor Garden, "Qing Fei De Yi" ("Can't Help Falling for You") by Harlem Yu and "Ni Yao De Ai" ("The Love You Want") by Penny Tai. EMI also obtained rights to a large amount of English songs. It took three months and a million New Taiwan dollars to license the music with Queen's "Love of My Life" being the most expensive.
Meteor Garden was an unprecedented success. It ushered in a wave of "idol dramas," a concept originating from Japan's "trendy dramas." Producer Angie Chai earned the moniker, "Idol Drama Godmother" (偶像劇教母), for her success in the genre. Several dramas were adapted from Japanese manga in the wake of Meteor Garden, including Peach Girl and Poor Prince. Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Ken Chu, and Vanness Wu shot to stardom overnight and formed the band F4, named for the clique in the series. The long hairstyles of the four also became popular.
The drama was popular internationally, being watched by nearly 500 million people across Asia.
|36th Golden Bell Awards|
|Tsai Yueh Hsun||Best Director – TV Series||Won|||
|Barbie Hsu||Best Actress – TV Series||Nominated|
|Boys Over Flowers Wiki has a collection of images on this topic. (view gallery)|
|Boys Over Flowers Wiki has a collection of screenshots on this topic. (view category)|
- During the drama's first run in Taiwan, the original manga went from selling 60,000 copies per episode to 80,000.
- Following Meteor Garden, Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Ken Chu, and Vanness Wu formed a band, also named F4. The band became extremely popular throughout Asia. Japanese publisher Shueisha later asked them to rename themselves after the release of Hana Yori Dango (2005) and its 2007 sequel to avoid confusion among viewers.
- Aisa Senda, Mai Sato, and Blackie Chen have short cameos in episode four. Senda and Sato later appeared in Meteor Rain (2001), while Chen had a supporting role in Meteor Garden II (2002).
- Dee Hsu, younger sister of Barbie Hsu, was cast to play Zhuang in the Meteor Garden remake.
- Harlem Yu, who performed the theme song of Meteor Garden, had a cameo at the end of the series as a street musician. Yu also appeared in the remake in the same capacity.
- In 2002, China banned Meteor Garden, citing "that the decadent lifestyle portrayed by boy band 'F4' would corrupt young Chinese minds."
|Meteor Garden series|
|Boys Over Flowers adaptations|
- Meteor Garden official website (archive)
- Meteor Garden official Japanese website
- Meteor Garden on TBS (Japanese)